"One size fits all maritime policy won't work" - Hudghton

Commenting on today's publication by the European Commission of its proposed new Maritime Policy, SNP President and Member of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee, Ian Hudghton MEP said:

"An EU maritime policy potentially has much to offer coastal nations such as Scotland. However, my concern is that if a uniform, one size fits all approach is allowed to develop, then the European Commission risks repeating the mistakes of the Common Fisheries Policy.

"Although an EU-wide 'integrated' strategy might sound good in theory, Europe would be ill-advised to implement a uniform maritime policy from Mull to Malta, and Aberdeen to Athens. Coastal communities vary in nature and need and Brussels' historic failure to recognise this must change.

"What I would prefer to see is an approach that could be described as 'maritime subsidiarity', ensuring that control over different areas of maritime policy lies at the most local level appropriate, whilst co- ordination of major issues such as pollution control rest at an EU level. This would see Scotland, for example, with control over its own fisheries and domestic marine policy, while allowing us to develop as a maritime hub on the international level."

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